INTERNATIONAL

Days before elections, a Mexican mayoral candidate was shot and killed during a campaign gathering

Al Jazeera reported that a mayoral candidate was shot and killed at a campaign event in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico, amid an increase in assaults ahead of the country’s general elections.

On Wednesday, Alfredo Cabrera was killed in the village of Coyuca de Benitez.

Local media released a video of someone approaching him at the campaign event and shooting him many times at close range.

According to Al Jazeera, Cabrera’s murder contributes to the rising death toll in the lead-up to the June 2 presidential, legislative, and municipal elections.

The Mexican government said earlier on Tuesday that since last September, at least 22 candidates for municipal office had been killed.

According to the authorities, two candidates for mayor were shot and injured in western Jalisco State, and one was killed on Tuesday in the central state of Morelos.

Cabrera was a member of an opposition alliance that supported Xochitl Galvez, an Indigenous-American senator and entrepreneur on the center-right who is now behind in the presidential campaign.

Evelyn Salgado, the governor of Guerrero, denounced the “cowardly” murder and said that “the full weight of the law against the person or persons responsible” will be brought against them.

The prosecutor’s office reports that the suspected assailant was slain on the spot.

Notably, as Al Jazeera noted, the drug cartels have often attempted political assassinations in an effort to subjugate local law enforcement or extract money from local governments.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico said in April that the cartels often try to choose the mayor, either by fielding their own candidates or removing possible competitors.

“They make an agreement and say, ‘This person is going to be mayor; we don’t want anyone else to register to run’, and anybody who does, well, they know [what to expect],” he said at the time.

About 250 candidates have received bodyguards from the government as a result of these assassinations; the most vulnerable candidates, those seeking municipal jobs, are at the back of the queue for protection, according to Al Jazeera.

One of the opposition coalition parties, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), said that the government had “not made even the slightest effort to guarantee the safety of the candidates.”.

Furthermore, according to Al Jazeera, some 27,000 troops and National Guard men would be stationed to bolster security during Sunday’s polls.

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